Americans are traveling again. Many of us are planning big trips – some of us are even venturing out of the country! If you’re planning a summer trip somewhere in the U.S. we also have some advice to give. In fact, our data geeks have put together a Summer Flights page to help with planning. Our easy-to-read calendar can tell you when you should buy your airline tickets to get the best price. You can save money depending on what day of the week you fly, as well as what dates you choose.

Will airfare be cheap this summer?

To be honest, it’s hard to say. But if we had to place a bet on whether prices will go up or down, our money is on prices climbing. Right now the airlines are struggling to keep up with the travel demand. Part of this can be attributed to the pandemic. Flights have been canceled due to flight crews getting sick. But we also know that Omicron is going to be yesterday’s news in a few weeks – and the airlines will continue to ramp their flight schedules back up.

Hopefully, when we get to the summer months, staffing will be back to normal and there will be enough flights to meet the customer demand. But if we’re not there by summer, you can expect the prices for flights to potentially be higher than you might expect.

That’s why we recommend buying now – the typical pattern for summer flights is that the airfares go up as we get closer to the travel dates. Summer is always a busier and more expensive season for air travel. But now, with a few variables up in the air, we recommend buying sooner rather than later.

What if I’m just not 100% sure I’m going to travel?

We get it. There’s less certainty in all aspects of our lives right now. Here’s what we can say. The airlines do recognize this and continue to provide customers with liberal change/cancellation policies. In the past, if you had to delay a trip you were often out of luck if you bought an Economy ticket. These days, the airlines allow changes and will even give you credit for future travel should your plans change.

How can I be sure that my flight won’t be cheaper after I buy? Won’t I be out that money if I buy too early?

First of all, you can’t be sure that the ticket price won’t go down. We’ve already said that it’s probably unlikely, but even if it does, CheapAir.com has you covered.

If you’re concerned that your preferred airfare could go down after you buy, protect your ticket with CheapAir’s Price Drop Payback. It’s a little insurance for travelers so if your fare drops after your purchase, you’re not burned. If this happens, we’ll pay you back up to $100 per ticket – so you can lock in your airfare and be confident of your choice.

Flights already look expensive. Are there any other options for me?

We offer Monthly Payments for flights and hotels, the two largest expenses when planning a vacation. You can offset some of those upfront costs by using Monthly Payments to spread out the cost over a period of time (3-12 months, typically). Our financial partner Affirm makes qualifying fast, simple and transparent.

One other thing. If you’re one of those people who put off a vacation for the last couple of years, maybe you want to splash out a bit. If you’d like to kick your flights up to a more comfortable class of service or you’d like to stay in a more luxury property, you can use monthly payments to make that choice a little easier to make!

I just want the cheapest flight. Can you help?

We always like to remind customers that value is all relative. When you are sitting behind your screen comparing airfares, a lot of people shop on price and angle to get the “best” airfare. That’s great, especially if you’re on a tight budget. These days, there are a lot of low cost airlines, and even the legacy airlines offer a Basic Economy ticket for people who need to get the lowest possible fare.

However, you should be careful when shopping to be aware of what is included with each ticket. CheapAir’s flight search is completely transparent and will help you see what amenities you can expect with your ticket. You should also know that – generally speaking – when you buy a “Basic” airline ticket, you simply pay for a seat on a plane. Most of the time, you don’t even get to choose the seat.

You can purchase a seat assignment later, as well as pay for bags, but you don’t want to get into a situation where you’re paying more after the fact than you would have if you’d just bought a Main Cabin Economy ticket from the get go. We see people get burned like this a lot – use our search to make sure you’re making an apples to apples comparison.

Can we predict which days this summer will be cheaper overall?

Good news. Yes! We can predict which days are a better value on average. We mentioned earlier in this post that we have a Summer Flights page that’s a great planning resource. We’ll mention it again. You can reference a simple calendar to see which days are the best value, and review data which tells you the days of the week that are best to travel for the cheapest tickets.

If you’re planning to venture “across the pond” to Europe, we also recommend checking out our Europe Summer Flights page for helpful tips when booking internationally.

Please let us know if you plan to travel this summer. We’d love to hear what destinations are on your radar. We can field questions in the comments section regarding destinations or planning concerns. We’re here to help! And as always, happy travels!

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